Novartis will work with Ubisoft and McGill University to accelerate product development to enable faster uptake for patients PoC studies in 2020


Novartis acquires Amblyotech to develop digital therapy for patients with amblyopia. (Credit: Novartis AG.)

Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis has completed the acquisition of Amblyotech, a US-based software firm that develops digital therapy for the treatment of amblyopia.

Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, is a vision development disorder, characterised by the decreased eyesight, and disability to achieve normal visual acuity, even with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

The disease would affect the patients during their infancy and early childhood, and current treatment options include patching and atropine, are associated with low compliance and low success rates.

Novartis ophthalmology global business franchise head Nikos Tripodis said: “By offering a noninvasive solution that has the potential to be significantly faster than current standards of care such as patching for children and adults impacted by lazy eye, Amblyotech’s software is a great example of how we can reimagine medicine using digital technology.

“We look forward to using our deep clinical development expertise in ophthalmology to accelerate this platform toward regulatory approval and our global commercial footprint to maximize access for patients who need it.”

Novartis will collaborate with Ubisoft and McGill University to develop digital therapy for amblyopia

Amblyotech has designed the new technology that makes use of active gaming and passive video technology with 3-D glasses to enhance compliance and enable the eyes to work together for viewing an image completely.

The software will employ an advanced visual presentation technology, dubbed dichoptic display, where each eye is presented with different images using a proprietary algorithm.

Also, the software used by Amblyotech has shown improvements in vision in both children and adults with faster onset, compared to standard of care treatments in early clinical studies.

Novartis said that it will work in collaboration with Ubisoft and McGill University, to enable the development of acquired digital therapeutic technology for the treatment of amblyopia.

The company’s partnership with video game developer Ubisoft is aimed at developing Amblyotech software as a medical device (SaMD), to create a series of games for the device, and conduct a proof of concept study (PoC), planned for later in 2020.